Phillip Danault has adjusted smartly to the Southern California lifestyle.
The ahead, in his 2d season with the Los Angeles Kings after taking part in for the Montreal Canadiens from 2016-21, enjoys the hotter climate, sunshine and laid-back vibe.
“It’s so easy, people are so nice there, our neighbors are great,” Danault mentioned closing month on the NHL North American Player Media Tour in Henderson, Nevada. “We drive a golf cart on the day off with baby seats in the back. It’s just, the lifestyle is super nice and easy, chill. It feels like we’re in Hawaii all the time. It’s special.”
Danault had a in a similar fashion clean adjustment at the ice with the Kings, scoring an NHL career-high 27 objectives in 79 video games closing season with a career-best 5 game-winning objectives that ranked 2d at the workforce to Adrian Kempe‘s seven. The No. 26 select by the Chicago Blackhawks within the 2011 NHL Draft, the 29-year-old has 252 issues (84 objectives, 168 assists) in 475 video games for the Blackhawks, Canadiens and Kings. He scored his 2d purpose of the sport and season in extra time to provide the Kings a 5-4 win on the Detroit Red Wings on Monday.
“With Phil, when we acquired him, we knew we were getting a good player,” Kings common supervisor Rob Blake mentioned. “We weren’t sure of that level of offense. And now he seems to find a real good compliment with Trevor Moore and [Viktor] Arvidsson and the way they play down low and everything. But, yeah, we definitely have an expectation of Phil that now increases offensively.”
The means the Kings have used Danault after signing him to a six-year, $33 million contract ($5.5 million moderate annual price) July 28, 2021 has been as rejuvenating for him as California’s climate and lifestyle.
“They gave me all the opportunities to prove myself differently and they used me differently on the ice, too, not only defensive face-offs and stuff like that,” Danault mentioned. “It was definitely a different role. They even gave me some power-play [time], which I was asking for in Montreal. It’s not about the points or scoring goals. They gave me the confidence to believe in myself offensively.”
Danault provides the Kings a competent heart on their 2d line at the back of longtime top-line heart Anze Kopitar. He performed maximum of closing season with Moore at left wing and Arvidsson at the proper. Moore had 48 issues (17 objectives, 31 assists), all NHL profession highs, in 81 video games. Arvidsson had 49 issues (20 objectives, 29 assists) in 66 video games. They began this season taking part in in combination as smartly.
“Honestly, not much has changed, we just talked about the same things,” Moore mentioned. “We’re two trying to be straight line, simple players. We just want to work hard, win battles and be good on both sides of the puck, so nothing really changes for us. Just more of the same hopefully.”
Danault has larger his offense whilst now not shedding any of his different strengths. He gained 53.6 % of his face-offs closing season, 2d at the Kings to Kopitar (56.9 %). He’s a part of a protection that allowed 2.83 objectives according to sport closing season, tenth within the NHL, an growth from the three.02 objectives according to sport (twenty first) they gave up within the 56-game season of 2020-21.
“Phil’s a great player,” Blackhawks ahead Max Domi mentioned. Domi performed with Danault in Montreal from 2018-20.
“They kind of kept him with his hands tied behind his back when he was in Montreal a little bit, because he was just labeled as a defensive guy, strictly face-offs and penalty kills and all that, and he’s one of the best at that. You didn’t really see his offensive abilities. All of a sudden, you get to L.A. and he’s still doing all that stuff, because you know he can do it, but he gets more of a leash offensively and he ripped it up. I’m super happy for him.”
Danault has discovered new lifestyles with the Kings. Last season he helped them advance to the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the primary time since 2017-18, a seven-game loss to the Edmonton Oilers within the Western Conference First Round. Now he and Los Angeles are able to take the next move.
“I think last year was huge for the franchise to go back in the right direction and also for young guys. Game 7, lots of experience gained,” Danault mentioned. “I think we took more than one step forward last season with the Game 7 we had in the playoffs, everything.”
“Obviously, I want to win the Stanley Cup. That’s going to be my goal the whole time. I want to get better every year, prove myself, I want to be better in little details, defensively as well. I want to keep chipping in offensively. For sure, improve every day, every year.”
NHL.com impartial correspondent Dan Greenspan contributed to this record